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THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF 

WASHINGTON 25, D.C. 




13 March 1962 



MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE \ ■ 

Subject: Justification for US Military Intervention 
in Cuba (TS) ,-. . 



■ 1. The Joint Chiefs of Staff have considered the attached 
Memorandum -for .the Chief of Operations, Cuba Project, v/hich 
responds to a^recLuest of that office for brief but precise 
description of "pretexts which would provide justification 
for US military intervention in Cuba. 

2. The ..Joint Chiefs of .Staff recommend that the 
proposed memorandum be forwarded as a preliminary submission 
suitable for planning purposes. It is assumed that there 
will be similar submissions from other agencies and that 
these inputs will be used as a basis for developing a 
time-phased plan. Individual projects can then be 
considered on a case -by -case basis. 

3. Further, it is assumed that a single agency will be 
given the primary responsibility for developing military 
and para -military aspects of the basic plan. It is 
recommended that this responsibility for both overt and 
covert military operations be assigned the Joint Chiefs of 
Staff. 



For the Joint Chiefs of Staff 



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L. L. LEMK'TTZER 
Chairman 
Joint' Chiefs of St' 



1 Enclosure 

Memo for Chief of Operations, Cuba Project 




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NOTE BY THE SSCKETARIES 
- ' ■ to the 

JOINT CHIEFS OP STAPF 

on 

NORTHWOODS (S) 

A report* on the above subject is submitted for consider- 
ation by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 



P. J. BLOUIN 
M. J, INGELIEO 
Joint Secretariat 



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* Not reproduced herewith; on file in Joint Secretariat 

E^CtUDfD FROM GDS 

EXCLUDED FROM AUTOMATIC 
REGRADIWG; DOD DIRECTIVE 
520Q.10 DOES NOT APPLY 



TOP SECRET 
JCS 1969/321 



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REPORT BY THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE MD 
JOINT CHIEFS OP STAFF REPRESENTATIVE ON THE 
CARIBBEAN SURVEY GROaP 

to the 

JOINT CHIEFS OP STAFK 

on 

CUBA PROJECT CTR') 

The Chief of Operations, Cuba Project, has requested 
that he be furnished the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff 
on this matter by 13 March 1962. 



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•TUSTIPICATION POR US MILITARY INTERVENTION IN CUBA (TS) 

THE PROBLEM 

1. As requested* 'by chief of Operations, Cuba Project, the 
Joint Chiefs of Staff are to indicate brief but precise 
description of pretexis which they consider would provide 
Justification for US military intervention in Cuba. 

FACTS BEARING ON THE PROBLEM 

2. It is recognized that any action which becomes pretext 
for US military intervention in Cuba will lead to a political 
decision which then would lead to military action. 

3. Cognizance has been taken of a suggested course of 
actiwn proposed** by the US Navy relating to generated 
instances in the Guantanamo area. 

4. For additional facts see Enclosure B. 

DISCUSSION 

.5- The suggested coursesof action appended to Enclosure A 
are based on the premise that US military intervention will 
result from a period of heightened US-Cuban tensions which 
place the United States in the position of suffering justif- 
iable grievances. World opinion, and the United Nations 
forum should be favorably ^affected by developing the inter- 
national image of the Cuban government as i-ash and irresponsible, 
and as an alarming and unpredictable threat to the peace of 
the Western Hemisphere. 

6. While the foregoing premise can be utilized at the 
present time it will continue to hold good only as long as 
there can be reasonable certainty that US military intervention 
in Cuba would not directly involve the Soviet Union. There is 



* Memorandum for General Craig from Chief of Operations, 
Cuba Project, subject: "Operation MONGOOSE", dated 
5 March 1962, on file in General Craig's office. 
** Memorandum for the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, from 
Chief of Naval Operations, subjeot: "Instances to 
Provoke Military Actions in Cuba (TS)", dated 8 March I962, 
on file in General Craig's office. 



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as yet no bilateral mutual support agreement binding the USSR 

to the defense of Cuba, Cuba has not yet become a member of the 
Warsaw pact, nor have the Soviets established Soviet bases 
in Cuba in the pattern of US bases in Western Europe. Therefore, 
since time appears to be an important factor in resolution of 
the Cuba problem, all projects are suggested within the time 
frame of the next few months. 

CONCLUSION 

7, The suggested courses of action appended to Enclosure A 
satisfactorily respond to the statement of the problem. However, 
these suggestions --should be forwarded as a preliminary submission 
suitable for planning purposes, and together with similar inputs 
from other agencies, provide a basis for development of a single, 
integrated, time-phased plan to focus all efforts on the 
ob;3ective of justification for US military intervention in Cuba. 

RECOMMENDATIONS 

8. -It is recommended that: 

a. Enclosure A together \d.th its attachments should be 
forwarded to the Secretary of Defense for approval and 
transmittal to the Chief of Operations, Cuba Project, 

b. This paper NOT be_forwarded to coimnanders of unified 
or specified commands. 

c. This paper NOT be forwar,ded to US , officers assigned 
to NATO act'ivities. 

d. This paper NOT be forwarded to the Chairman, US 
Delegation, United Nations Military Staff Committee. 




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MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECREa?ARY OP DEFENSE 



Subject: Justification for US Military Intervention 
in Cuba (TS) 

1. The Joint Chiefs of Staff have considered the attached 
Memorandum for the Chief of Operations, Cuba Project, which 
responds to a request* of that office for brief but precise 
description of pretexts which wovld provide justification 
for US military intervention In Cuba. 

2. The Joint Chiefs of Staff recommend that the proposed 
memorandum be forwarded as a preliminary submission suitable 
for planning piirposes. It is assumed that there will be 
similar submissions from other agencies and that these inputs 
will be used as a basis for developing a time -phased plan. 
Individual projects can then be considered on a case-by-case 
basis. .„.. _ . }> 

3. Further, It is assumed that a single agency will be 
given the pri mary responsibility for developing military and 
para-military aspects of the basic plan. It is recommended 
that this responsibility for_fcpth overt and covert military 
operatioEsbe assigned the Joint Chiefs of^taff . 



* Memorandum for Gen Gralg from Chief of Operations, Cuba 
Project, subject, "Operation MONGOOSE", dated 5 March 
1962, on file:.ln Gen Craig's office 



Enolostire A 



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APPENDIX TO ENCLOSURE A 
DRAFT 



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MEMORAMDUM FOR CHIEF OP OPERATIONS, CUBA PROJECT 

Subject: Justification for US Military Intervention 
in Cuba (TS) 

1. Reference is made to memorandtim from Chief of Operations^ 
Cuba Project, for General Craig, subject: "Operation MONGOOSE", 
dated 5 March 1962, Vfhich requested brief but precise 
description of pretexts which the Joint Chiefs of Staff 
consider would provide Justification for US railltaJT inter- 
vention in Cuba. 

2. The projects listed in the enclosure hereto are forwarded 
as a preliminary submission suitable for planning purposes. 

It is assumed that there will be similar submissions from 
other agencies and that these inputs will be used as a basis 
for developing a time -phased plan. The indivldtial projects 
can then be considered on a case-by-case basis. -^-' '^ 

3. This plan. Incorporating projects selected from the 
attached suggestions, or from other sources, should be 
developed to focus all efforts on a specific ultimate 
objective which would provide adequate justification for 

US military intervention. Such a plan jroylld enable a logical 
build-up of incidents to be combined with other seemingly 
unrelated events to camouflage the ultimate objective and 
create the necessary impression of Cuban rashness and 
irresponsibility on a large scale, directed at other 
countries as well as the United States. The plan would also 
properly integrate and time phase the courses of action to 
be pursued. The desired resultant from the execution of 
this plan would be to place the United States in the apparent 
position of suffering defensible grievances from a rash and 
irresponsible government of Cuba and to develop an inter- 
national image of a Cuban threat to peace in the Western 
Hemisphere. 



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Appendix to 
Enclosure A 



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4, Time is an important factor irs resolution "of the Cuban 
problem. Therefore, the plan should he so time-phased that 
projects would he operable within the next few months. 

5. Inasmuch as the ultimate objective is overt military 
intervention, it is recommended that ^^i^^J^fy jespjDnsibility 
for developing military and para-military aspects of the plan 
for both overt and covert military operations be assigned the 
Joint Chiefs of Staff. 



Appendix to 
Enclosure A 



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ANNEX TO APPENDIX TO ENCLOSURE A W.Ll HWVdW- 



PRETEXTS TO JUSTIFY US MILITARY IMTEKTON1I0N IH OUBA 

(Note: The courses of action whioh follow are a preliminary 
submission stiltable only for planning purposes^ They are 
arranged neither chronologically nor in ascending order. 
Together with similar inputs from other agencleSj they are 
intended to provide a point of departure for the development 
of a single. Integrated, time-phased plan. Such a plan would 
permit the evaluation of individual projects within the context 
of oiunulatlvej correlated actions designed to lead inexorably 
to the objective of adequate Justification for US military 
intervention In Cuba) . 

1. Since It would seem desirable to use legitimate 
provocation as the basis for US military intervention in Cuba 
a cover and deception plan, to include requisite prellmlna3?y 
actions such as has been developed in response to Task 33 c, 
could be executed as an Initial effort to provoke Cuban 
reactions. Harassment plus deceptive actions to convince the 
Cubans of Imminent Invasion would be emphasized. Our military 
posture throughout execution of the plan will allow a rapid 
change from exercise to Intervention If Cuban response Justifies. 

2. A series of well coordinated Incidents will be planned 
to take place in and around Guantanarao 'to*^ give genuine 
appearance of being done by hostile Cuban forces. 

a. Incidents to establish a credible attack (not in 
ohronologlcal order): 

(1) Start rumors (many). Use clandestine radio. 

(2) Land friendly Cubans In uniform "over-the-fence" 
to stage attack on base. 

(3) Capture Cuban (friendly) saboteurs inside the 
base. 

(4) Start riots near the base main gate (friendly 
Cubans ) . 

Annex to Appendix 
7 to Enclosure A 



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(5) Blow up arrauuDitlon Inside the base; start fires. 

(6) Bvirn aircraft on air base (sabotage), 

(7) Lob mortar shells from outside of base into bass. 
Some damage to installations, 

(8) Capture assault teams approaching from the sea 
or vicinity of (juantanamo City. 

(9) Capture militia group which storms the base. 

(10) Sabotage ship in harbor; large fires — napthalene. 

(11) Sink ship near harbor entrance. Conduct funerals 
for mock-victiins (may be lieu of (10)). 

b. United States would respond by executing offensive 
operations to secure water and power supplies, destroying 
artillery and mortar emplacements which threaten the base. 

c. Commence large scale United States military operations. 

3. A "Remember the Maine" incident could be arranged in 
several forms: 

a. We could blow up a US ship in Guantanamo Bay and 
blame Cuba. 

b. We could blow up a drone (unmanned) vessel anyv^here 

in the Cuban waters. We could arrange to cause such Incident 
in the vicinity of Havana or Santiago as a spectacular result 
of Cuban attack from t^ie air or sea, or both. The presence 
of Cuban planes or ships merely Invefs^gating the intent of 
the vessel could be fairly compelling evidence that the ship 
was taken "under attack. The nearness to Havana or Santiago 
■would add credibility especially to those people that might 
have heard the blast or have seen the fire. The US could 
follow up with an air/sea rescue operation covered by US 
fighters to "evacuate" remaining members of the non-existent 
crew. Casualty lists In US newspapers would cause a helpfxa 
wave of national indignation, 

4, We could develop a Conmiunisfc Cuban terror campaign in 
the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington. 

Annex to Appendix 
8 to Enclosure A 



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The terror campaign could te pointed at Cuban refugees seeking 
haven in the United States. We could sink a boatload of Cubans 
enroute to Florida (real or simulated). We coiad foster attempts 
on lives of Cuban refugees in the United States even to the 
extent of wounding In Instances to be widely publicized. 
Exploding a few plastic bombs in carefully chosen spotsj the 
airest of Cuban agents and the release of prepared documents 
substantiating Cuban Involvement also wquld be helpful In 
projecting the idea of an irresponsible government. 

5. A "Cuban-based, Castro-supported" filibuster could be 
simulated against a neighboring Caribbean nation (in the vein 
of the l4th of June invasion of the Dominican Republic). We 
know that Castro Is backing subversive efforts clandestinely 
against Haiti, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and Nicaragua at 
present and possible others. These efforts can be magnified and 
additional ones contrived for exposure. For example, advantage 
can be taken of the sensitivity of the Dominican Air Force to 
intrusions within their national air space. "Cuban" B-a6 or 
C-45 type aircraft could make cane-burning raids at. night. 
Soviet Bloc incendiaries could be found. This could be coupled 
with "Cuban" messages to the Communist uxidergroimd In the 
Dominican Republic and "Cuban" shipments of arms which would 

be found, or intercepted, on the beach.'' ^^ 

6. Use of Mia type aircraft by US pilots could provide . 
additional provocation. Harassment of civil air, attacks on 
surface shipping and destruction of US military drone aircraft 
by MIG type planes would be useful as oomplementary actions. 

An F-86 properly painted would convince air passengers that they 
saw a Cuban MIG, especially if the pilot of the transport were 
to announce such fact. The primary drawback to this suggestion 
appears to be the security risk Inherent In obtaining or modify- 
ing an aircraft. However, reasonable copies of the MIG could 
be produced from US resources In about three months . 



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7. Hijacking attempts against civil air and surface craft i 
should appear to continue as harassing raeasures condoned by the 
government of Cuba, Concurrently, genuine defections of Cuban 
civil and military air and surface craft should be encouraged. 

8. It is possible to create an incident which will demonstrate 
convincingly that a Cuban aircraft has attacked and shot down 

a chartered civil airliner enroute from the United States to 
Ja^iaioa, Guatemalaj Panama or Venezuela. The destination would 
be chosen only to cause the flight plan route to cross Cuba, 
The passengers could be a group of college students off on a 
holiday or any grouping of persons with a common interest to 
support chartering a non-scheduled flight. 

a. An aircraft at Eglin AEB wo\:LLd be painted and 
numbered as an exact duplicate for a civil registered 
aircraft belonging to a CIA proprietary organization in the 
Miami area. At a designated time the diipllcate would be 

• substituted for the actual civil aircraft and would be 
loaded with the selected passengers, all boarded under 
carefully prepared aliases. The actual registered 
aircraft would be converted to a drone. 

b. Take off times of the drone aircraft and the actual 
aircraft will be scheduled to allow a rendezvous south of 
Florida. From the rendezvous point the passenger-carrying 
aircraft will descend to minimum altitude and go directly 
into an auxiliary field at Eglin AKB vrhere arrangements will 
have been made to evacuate the passengers and return the 
aircraft to its original status. The drone aircraft 
meanwhile will continue to fly the filed flight plan. When 
over Cuba the drone will being transmitting on the inter- 

. national distress frequency a "MAY DAY" message stating he 
is under attack by Cuban MIG aircraft. The transmission 
will be interrupted by destruction of the aircraft which will 
be triggered by radio signal. This will allow ICAO radio 



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Annex to Appendix 
to Enclosure A 



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stations In the Western HfiiM^^'^^a^t^^tell the US what 

has happened to the airoraft' instead of the TJS tiTying to 

"seil" the Incident, 

9. It la possihle to create an incident which will maice It 
appear that Oomraimlst Cuhan MIGs have destroyed a USAF aircraft 
over International waters in an unprovoked attack, 

a. Approximately 4 or 5 F-101 aircraft will he dispatched 
In trail from Homestead AEBj Florida, to the vicinity of Guha 
Their mission will be to reverse coiirse and simulate fakir 
aircraft for an air defense exercise in southern Florida. 
These aircraft would conduct variations of these flights at 
frequent Internals. Crews would be briefed to remain at 
least 12 miles off the Cuban coast; however, they would be 
required to carry live ammunition in the event that hostile 
actions were taken by the Cuban MIGs. 

b. On one such flight, a pre -briefed pilot would fly 
tail-end Charley at considerable Interval between aircraft. 
mxie near the Cuban Island this pilot would broadcast that 
he had been junked by MIGs and was going down. No other 
calls would be made. The pilot would then fly directly 
west at extremely low altitude and land at a secure base, an 
Eslln auxiliary. The aircraft would be met by the proper 
people, quickly stored and given a xTew tail number. The 
pilot who had performed the mission under 'an alias, would 
resume his proper identity and return to his normal place 

of business. The pilot and aircraft would then have 
disappeared. 

G. At precisely the same time that the aircraft was 
presumably shot down a submarine or small surface craft 
would disburse F-iOl parts, parachute, etc., at approximately 
15 to 20 miles off the Cuban coast and depart. The pilots 
returning to Homestead would have a true story as far as 
they knew. Search ships and aircraft could be dispatched 
and parts of aircraft found. 




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Annex to Appendix 
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ENCLOSURE B HKIlLf 

PACTS HEARING ON THE PROBLEM 

1. The Joint Chiefs of Staff have previously stated* 
that US unilateral military intervention in Cuba can be 
undertaken in the event that the Cuban regime commits hostile 
acts against US forces or property which would serve as an 
incident upon' which to base overt intervention , 

2. The need for positive action in the event that current 
covert efforts to foster an internal Cuban rebellion are 
unsuccessful was indicated** "by the Joint Chiefs of Staff 

on 7 March 1962j as follows: 

" - - - determination that a credible internal 
revolt is impossible of attainment during the next 
9-10 months will require a decision by the United States 
to develop a Cuban "provocation" as Justification for 
positive US military action," 

3. It is understood that the Department of State also is 
preparing suggested courses of action to develop justification 
for US military intervention in Cuba. 



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* JCS 1969/303 
** JCS 1969/313 



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Enclosure B 



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